Why do so many young students, doctors, engineers and MBAs in
The answer lies in our primary education system.
Indian parents are obsessed with their kids performing well in their school. This only means one thing- “Get highest marks, no matter what”. There is heavy pressure on the kids to score higher and higher scores and the success in life is directly related to these marks. When I was a young kid, I used to get 5 out of 10 in all my art classes. If I had gone by what my art teacher thought of me, I would never have taken up art to become an artist. According to her, filling in the paint uniformly in those already-drawn-objects in a text book was considered art, and some girls who painstakingly filled them according to her mandate got 10 out of 10. If not for my parent’s encouragement which suggested that marks was not important and that I was more of an artist than what my marks suggested, I wouldn’t ever have taken up art in my life. Unfortunately, most parents in
Therefore, the kids in
Why do we not prepare our kids to face the harsh realities that he would eventually face? The problem is with our primary education and parenting. The school texts and teachers teach and preach the glorified version of Indian history which had a great past. But he is not taught how we had a parallel history of prolonged and systematic discrimination and persecution. All ills are hidden or compeletely ignored. The kid grows up not knowing what it means to be a Dalit and doesn’t know any Dalits. Even if he does know one, that would be an IAS officer’s son who appears to be well off. So, when he realizes that such a thing called reservations-based-on-caste exists, he immediately sees himself as ‘victim’ and this rich IAS officer’s son as ‘profiteer’. He gets infuriated because now it means that he may not get a seat into IIT while this rich IAS officer’s kid may very well enter scoring lower marks. He makes this local comparison and feels discriminated against. He rationalizes that it is all a conspiracy by the Government of India and its politicians to discriminate him- and asks - why are they doing it to him? Only because he is from forward-class! Why should he pay for something that happened long ago?
His indignation is so high that he is ready to get out onto the street, go on a hunger strike and face police brutalities- because he knows heart-in-heart that he is fighting for a just cause. Even the media’s attention and focus tells him that he is fighting for a just cause. He believes he will be heard, and that the President of India, whom he held in high esteem till date would definitely understand his cause and come to his rescue. But when all these leaders do not budge from their stand, he gets disillusioned by the system, gets frustrated. He comes up with many antics, like, sweeping the streets with a broom. What he actually wanted to show was that he will have no job and hence will have to sweep the streets now. But what he doesn’t realize is that Dalits, for centuries together, were asked to sweep the streets and sweep their own footprints because they were considered untouchable. To mimic the same atrocity is sheer mockery of their plight. I don’t know whether its ignorance or its apathy. He puts up a hoarding saying- “I will go to US since my country has disowned me”. What he doesn’t realize is that when he does go to US he has to pay $120,000 to $250,000 to get the same medical degree. In addition, during the admission process he has to face competition within his own peer group (other Indians), while a Black American, Hispanic American, or a Tahitian, with much lower scores has better chances of admission. No wonder, many Indians go to US with the same discriminatory prejudices and never get the learning or schooling to change their views. (Readers must know that Indians living in US are more discriminatory towards Blacks than the Whites.)
Contrast this with a kid growing up in US. The kid learns in school that Blacks were systematically discriminated and hence to correct those actions US has implemented Affirmative Action. The affirmative action is explained in detail. The kid also learns how White Americans discriminated and killed many Native Americans and hence they are now given special privileges- like owning vast stretches of Reservations (land), owning and operating Casinos, etc.
Our Indian gets lost both in